Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Visit From Hemi "I Want You To Come Home"

My brother Bruce Larson and his son Shane brought Clark's dog Hemi to the hospital to see Clark. It had been over 2 months since they were together. Hemi had just delivered five puppies on July 11th and Clark went in the hospital on July 28th. By now all but one of the puppies have been sold, they are Italian Greyhounds. Clark also owns the daddy, Bentley. Bruce asked Clark if he wanted him to bring Bentley up next time and Clark said, "No, he is too jumpy". Hemi seemed a bit nervous with Clark. I'm sure he didn't smell the same (probably smelled like a hospital or to her, a vet clinic), and with the tubes etc she could tell something was wrong with her master. Clark came into the hospital weighing 172 pounds and now is down to 138 pounds. They say that people begin to look like their dogs or visa versa. I do see a resemblance in the nose and now they are both very skinny. That might be the nature of the greyhound to be skinny but I think Clark will be able to get his weight back soon once he can eat

OHH... Squeaky? Well I told you I left my camera for Clark to catch Squeaky making a late night visit? I was anxious to see the picture when I visited Clark yesterday. I said, "Clark, did you get a picture of the mouse?" He shook his head no and said, "I think its the nurse." He went on to explain that he thinks what he saw was her shadow along the wall and her shoes squeaking on the floor. The hospital is off the hook.

Cousins Visit

Ligia, Orion, cousin Alex Huntington, and cousin Elliot Huntington

Cousin Dusin Groff and wife Alyssa

Clark has several cousins that live in the SLC area. They have been waiting to visit Clark for some time. Elliot Huntington and his family live only 5 miles from the hospital so he and his wife have stopped up a few times prior as well. Alex Huntington and his family are just moving from Minneapolis, Minnesota to Pheonix, Arizona. Dustin Groff and his wife live in Provo, Utah. Thank you for visiting.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Nichole and Logan

Please meet Nichole and her 2 year old son, Logan. Little Logan has Alagille Syndrome and under went a liver transplant at Children's Primary Hospital (which is connected to the University where Clark is). His mother Nichole donated 1/3 of her liver to Logan on August 17. She was hospitalized at the University to remove part of her liver while little Logan waited to recieve it nearby at Primary Hospital. They too had some complications with Logan's transplant but he was released from the hospital last week, Nichole was realeased earlier. Due to her own surgery, Nichole wasn't able to assist Logan much for the first two weeks of his surgery. I met up with them for lunch yesterday at Primary Hospital. Both Nichole and Logan are doing fine, they just came in for their weekly appointment. Best of luck to you both.

Clark had another great day! He is looking better and better daily. There is some serious talk between the staff to try moving him to the rehabilitaion rooms by the end of the week. Marty from Larson Tower, where Clark also works, stopped to see Clark yesterday - me without my camera. Bishop Sampson stopped up last night to watch the football game with Clark. Bishop Sampson's father is a Judge and said Clark had been called to jury duty but he automatically released Clark.

I do have some pictures of other visitors on my camera but I left my camera at the hospital last night. Clark was on duty trying to get a picture of "squeaky" the mouse. Clark insists that Squeaky stopped by again last night cause Clark heard him chewing on something! Will it be true or is it medication? Please stay tuned to find out. I'm as curious as you are.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bugs and Spiders and Mice! OH, MY!

The hospital has an infestation problem. When Clark was in his previous room he complained about all the bugs. He would swat at them in the air in front of him and point to cob webs around the room. Needless to say, his medication can cause hallucinations. There were no bugs that we ever saw. The nurse told Mom a story about a lady she was caring for awhile back. When the nurse walked into the room, the patient threw her arms in the air and yelled, "Stop! Don't step on all that candy!" The nurse played along and tip-toed carefully across the room. The lady then said, "It's my favorite kind!"

When I went to visit Clark yesterday he said that the night before, at about 1:30 AM, a mouse ran across the floor in his room. He said, "Of course by the time the nurse came it was gone. Everyone thinks I'm hallucinating but I'm not." I asked a few other questions about this mouse and again he mentioned the bugs. Just before I left, Clark was watching the news and pointed at the TV. The nurse looked to see what he was talking about. "Oh, the Pope?" Clark kept pointing and said, "He has spiders crawling on him." I glanced at the TV and couldn't see any spiders. The nurse just lowered her head and said, "Oh no, we've given you too much medication." "No", Clark said, "There's a spider on the Pope." I played along and said how I couldn't take that. The nurse caught my eye, then agreed, spiders creep her out. Clark said, "That's what the story's about. That's why the Pope is on the news." I think he knew we were just humoring him. This is what I found when I hopped on the Internet when I got home.

Sat Sep 26, 3:37 pm ET

"A large arachnid appeared on the pope's white robes as he addressed politicians and diplomats in Prague on Saturday afternoon. The pope didn't seem to notice at first — but journalists following the speech on a large screen flinched as the spider inched toward Benedict's neck.

It disappeared from view for a moment, but then could be seen crawling up the right side of the 82-year-old pontiff's face.

When it reached his ear, Benedict gave it a swat. But it didn't go away — it reappeared on the pope's left shoulder and scampered down his robe.

As the pope left the medieval Prague Castle's ornate Spanish Hall, the spider could be seen hanging from a piece of web."

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press

Friday, September 25, 2009

Hear Ye, Hear Ye

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! We have had a BIG day in Utah Valley today. To begin with, I would like to update you on the IR procedure he had last evening to find out what the pocket of fluid was around Clark's stomach. It was a bile substance near the spleen that was putting pressure on his stomach. They drained off over 2 1/2 liters of fluid. Good news this morning was that this fluid had turned to serum which is a good thing and at that point, it was very little at that. It is a bit uncomfortable to have the tube going through his ribs again but certainly tolerable. They put another line in Clark's vein and will start nutrition through there to slowly introduce his stomach to fluids again, hopefully he won't be nauseated. He has also been begging for ice cream but must not have begged to the right person so I don't think he will get that treat tonight. But soon! I know Clark is feeling better because he had a nurse call me this morning to remind me to bring his birthday present up. He ordered a cologne from me, called Prada in which has been held back at Kristin's house all this time. Yesterday Clark's liver doctor, Dr. Hutson who is known at the hospital as (Fabio) and who has become pretty close buds with Clark, compared colognes with Clark. Clark liked the one Dr. Hutson was wearing (Hollister's California) and told Dr. Hutson about his Prada. So Clark had me bring the Prada to the hospital and Dr. Hutson wants to wear it one day. How nice! Happy Belated Birthday Clark. Clark has been in the hospital since one day after his 24th birthday, July 27, so we never did get to celebrate it.
For those of you wondering about or maybe trying to guess what Clark's Medical Bill is so far? I happened to talk to the financal director today in trying to get Clark on some disabilty and she informed me that as of today, he is at ONE MILLION DOLLARS! Thats what this scar cost so far! Don't you think it is looking better since the last pictures we put up? ***If you put your curser over any of the pictures and click on it, it will be enlarged so you can see them better.***

Clark has been awake all day. He has been visiting like old times (except for its a whisper) and we certainly have enjoyed our day together. He spent a lot of time looking at the blog this morning and catching up on Face Book. I asked Clark yesterday if he would put some posts of his own up. I'd like him to tell you about his experience from his own point of view. I bet he will do it one of these days.
Now for the BIG news. Clark was moved out of SICU today and is now in room 2223 Intermediate ICU, one step closer to the door. What a big baby I am! As we got into his new room and met his new nurse I was weeping as if something was wrong. I assure her that I was just so happy for the move and the progress that Clark is now making. She understood. Visitation will still be limited to 2 people in his room at a time, gowning up for a few more days, and short visits for awhile yet. Please try to space out visitors as not to tire him too much in one day, he still needs lots of rest. I know he will welcome many of you who have waiting for a long time to come see him. I expect that once Clark is getting his nutrition orally and his strength comes back some, they will then move him to a regular room for the polishing stages and then HOME. Whew Who!!! But guess what Clark told me when he learned that he was moving to this "step down" unit? "Now you can stay with me Mom". Is there something wrong with this picture? Now I'm going to be sleeping in the hospital too. Oh, I love you too Clark.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Pick-Me-Up

We all get our pick-me-ups from different places. At this point, pretty much anything would be a pick-me-up for Clark. Yesterday it was a trip outside and a haircut. His face lit up when he heard this was on the agenda for his day. I was excited because I wouldn't have to arrange leaving the kids and they would be able to see him. Willow has not seen Clark since the day we admitted him to the hospital. She was scared of him, as is her nature with anyone at first, but I'm sure the cords and tubes didn't help. Clark thought McLane had grown even since last time. Kate came up to give him a much needed hair cut. How many people have a beautician that will follow them to the hospital. As the hair fell I could see Clark's spirits raise. It always feels good to get freshened up and Clark has always been particular about his hair so it felt even better for him, especially at this time. After the hair cut we just sat and enjoyed the nice day outside.We were still waiting for the results of Tuesday's CAT scan until just this morning. The scan showed that Clark has a pocket of fluid in his lung, which is not a concern. He also has a pocket of fluid in the upper left portion of his stomach which is probably the culprit of his nausea and vomiting. They speculate that it is either bile that has encapsulated itself, or a cyst. This fluid has formed a barrier around itself so antibiotics would not be able to penetrate it. Clark is going to radiology this morning where they will insert a tube to drain the fluid. Then they will determine what the fluid is and how to treat it. They pulled all nutrition yesterday, from which point on he has not had any nausea or diarrhea. He feels hungry today, his eyes look brighter, and he is much more alert. Hopefully this is an uphill climb toward the exit door. He must be hungry because he made a note of something he wants to buy while watching the Rachel Ray Show - a juicer. The doctors told Clark that it wouldn't be long before Mom could bring him in a Big Mac to eat. Clark shook his head no and said, "Raisin Bran". Looks like his taste has changed . . . just a bit!

Hey Clark, Remember this?

We used to love these guys!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

In A Slump

Clark has slept for days, all day and night. He continues to vomit frequently, daily. His spirits are way down. He has even turned off the TV the past three days, didn't even watch the Falcons play football this past weekend. They have started him on an anti-depressant to try lifting his mood again. Clark is loosing mass amounts of hair. Yesterday he pinched a chuck of hair off above his ear, reached over his bed and dropped it on the floor. His pillow is covered with hair. It is so sad. Last night he went for a catscan of his stomach to see why he is so nausea. I waited for results last night but they weren't in before I left the hospital. The doctors keep telling Clark that he IS getting better and he just needs to hang in there. One of the nurses told me they have done FOUR liver transplants since Clark's and all had gone right home afterwards. Clark was a strong and healthy young boy going into this. I'm sure anyone would get down after this long in the hospital and bump after bump. Keep Fighting Clark, Keep Fighting!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Going Down Memory Lane

I received an email from my dear friend, Bart Moeller. Mr. Moeller is a grade school teacher at Jefferson School in Watertown. He had a couple of my boys in his class. When Jim died, 11 years ago, Bart along with other teachers from Jefferson came to our house as support to us at this tragic time. Bart naturally and instantly became more than a teacher. He became my brother, the kid's dad (but I didn't hit him up for child support, hahaha), our handy man, and a friend to my entire family. Bart will forever be a very important part of each of our lives. I want to share this touching email Bart sent yesterday. We Love You Bart!
Hi Rhonda,
I have been going down memory lane and ran across this picture of Clark, I think it was taken the summer that we drove out to Utah (the King Albert) trip. Ah what fond memories that brings back. It will be so nice to see Clark like this once again. It seems a life time, and in some ways I guess it has been. I have tried to keep up with the blog and am so thankful for what You and Kristin do to keep all informed. Bjorn called Sat. to remind me of the Blood drive but was to late to donate, so when I go in for my yearly checkup will donate at that time. I think of Clark, You, and Kristin everyday and am so thankful that our paths crossed so many years ago. I cherish all of the moments I have spent and shared with all of you, memories that I will cherish all the days of my life. I wish the best. and hope to see you soon. Remember if you need or want anything at all please let me know. Love Bart

If any of you have "fond memories" with Clark and would like to share them, please do so. You can email them to me at and I will be happy to post them on the blog.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Pizza Ranch Fundraiser

The Pizza Ranch fundraiser was so much fun. It was great to be back in Watertown and connect with many followers from Clark's hometown. They were eager to show their support and some of his high school classmates even made the 90 mile trip from Sioux Falls to be there. Ross and his staff, along with our family, representatives from the Watertown Wrestling Booster Club, and Reliabank, all kept the show running smoothly, even with the large number of customers. Ross said he even ordered in extra silverware and prepared extra pizzas for the buffet in preparation for this night. The Corporate Office told Ross that this was the most successful fundraiser in Pizza Ranch history. Go Watertown! Thank you Ross!
Mom with our neighbors Dick and Lois Heyn.
Wyatt was an assistant manager and worked
at Pizza Ranch for about three years.
Huxley cleared tables.
Myls made pizzas.
Dave cleared tables.
Bjorn fried chicken.
Fletcher and Bart Moeller. Thanks for the awesome shirts Bart.
Ross Olson, Pizza Ranch owner, making pizzas himself.
Linda Kuehn of Starrography made Clark this blanket.
The Pizza Ranch employees and The Kimble Crew

Benefit Yard Sale

This was the second of two yard sales that were held for Clark in Utah. The first was put on by Clark's singles ward and was a huge success. They even made The Daily Herald. We took their left-overs, combined them with donations from our friends, family, and neighbors, and held a sale the following weekend. Yet another success. There was just too much stuff to price it all so we went with a "Donate & Take" theme. No prices. Pick out what you want, pay what you think it's worth, and it's yours. I have to admit I was a little hesitant to do this at first. Thankfully I was pleasantly surprised by how generous people were. Some people would haggle with us on a price so we would drop it and agree on a lower price. Then, when they heard what we were doing the sale for, they payed more than we were asking in the first place. Overall, people were much more generous than we expected. Many times my mouth dropped when I saw the amount of money people dropped in the jar compared to the items they were leaving with. We sold everything from clothes and candles, to chickens and tomatoes. It was great fun!
A big thank you to all the family who helped so much with the sale, and to all the community members who donated, shopped, and cared!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Watertown's Blood Drive

Watertown's Blood Drive gathered family, neighbors, friends, church members, and strangers. I got warm, fuzzy feelings when I received these pictures by email and opened them to see at all the smiling faces back home. I know there were many "first time" donors and they will be repeat givers forever, because they came forward this time with this cause. We thank all of you from the Red Cross and the community, for this successful event. I have not received a count on the number of donations but will post it later if it becomes available. Dakotans, We Love You! Clark's little brother Wyatt was a first timer. Wyatt was born with a mild heart condition that he has always been concerned about. At some point in his life, he was told that he couldn't donate blood but I encouraged him to go anyway and that the Red Cross workers would determine if that was true or not. Looks like you "got r done" Wyatt and I'm filled with tears and joy that you represented our family back home.
Our neighbor Kris Oliverson
President Lewis from The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter Day SaintsMark LueckJana Mills

Saturday, September 19, 2009

54 Days In Now, Where Is The Door?

I don't know if No News is Good News or not! It has been a few days since we updated on Clark personally. Our (Clark and my) spirits have been a little down. Seems like we are at a stand still and we are eager for progression. We just want OUT! Its been 54 days in the hospital now and no suggested date in getting out. I keep looking for good things and I know there are many more than I can visually see but I want to share at least one good thing from me. Clark has been VERY tired the past few days. Sleeping nearly every minute I'm in the room with him. Of course I think that is good as he must be healing during that time. I sit in the corner of his room, fully covered in a long plastic gown, gloves, mask, hair net, and booties. Sweating like no other, wow it gets hot in this plastic! Especially when it is hours and hours per day. From my corner, as I also work on my laptop computer, I glance over at Clark occasionally and find myself enjoying the moment. I see Jim over and over in Clark. It is like being with Jim again. You see Jim had narcolepsy so dozing and nodding was just a part of our everyday life. It was pretty frustrating when Jim was alive and falling asleep like that but I'd give about anything to have him back today, nodding all he needed. Even Clark's gestures and looks are much like his father's so for these moments, I give thanks.

Clark's white blood cell count went up to 19. That meant that he had an infection but that he had the power to fight it. The last culture they took for the bacteria in his blood, was negative however they will continue to keep Clark isolated and on treatment for a full 14 days of which we are now on day 9. They had taken most of the tubes and needles out of Clark as they felt that was probably a reason for contacting this bacteria in the first place. This also meant that Clark had to start taking food and medicines by mouth. Unfortunately, Clark became nausea and vomited for a couple days so they had to reinsert the feeding tube through his nose again. He has been feeling pretty good all yesterday afternoon and so far today. Dr. Schwartz is requesting that Clark be moved out of this room and into a room where more visitation would be allowed, hopefully building Clark's spirits by having company other than me. Eric Bischke and Logan Larson spent a few hours with Clark this afternoon watching football. I know they all enjoyed that time together and it allowed me some "me" time too. I went shopping at Cabela's.

Clark referrs to this "bacteria" as a disease. He emotionally went down hill when he first learned he had it. He had enjoyed a couple days outside and things seemed to be moving in the right direction and then BAM, he had Acinetobacter. Some of you have asked what this bacteria is called and I finally learned more about it. Here you go:

Acinetobacter is a Gram-negative genus of Bacteria belonging to the Gammaproteobacteria. Non-motile, Acinetobacter species are oxidase-negative, and occur in pairs under magnification. They are important soil organisms where they contribute to the mineralisation of, for example, aromatic compounds. Acinetobacter are a key source of infection in debilitated patients in the hospital.

Natural habitat; Acinetobacter spp are widely distributed in nature. They are able to survive on various surfaces (both moist and dry) in the hospital environment, thereby being an important source of infection in debilitated patients. Occasional strains are isolated from foodstuffs and some are able to survive on various medical equipment and even on healthy human skin. In drinking water, Acinetobacter have been shown to aggregate bacteria who otherwise do not form aggregates.

Acinetobacter is frequently isolated in nosocomial infections and is especially prevalent in intensive care units, where both sporadic cases as well as epidemic and endemic occurrence is common. A. baumannii is a frequent cause of nosocomial pneumonia, especially of late-onset ventilator associated pneumonia. It can cause various other infections including skin and wound infections, bacteremia, and meningitis, but A. lwoffi is mostly responsible for the latter. A. baumannii can survive on the human skin or dry surfaces for weeks.
Since the start of the Iraq War, over 700 U.S. soldiers have been infected or colonized by A. baumannii. Four civilians undergoing treatment for serious illnesses at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., contracted A. baumannii infections and died.

Acinetobacter species are innately resistant to many classes of antibiotics, including penicillin, chloramphenicol, and often aminoglycosides. Resistance to fluoroquinolones has been reported during therapy and this has also resulted in increased resistance to other drug classes mediated through active drug efflux. A dramatic increase in antibiotic resistance in Acinetobacter strains has been reported by the CDC and the carbapenems are recognised as the gold-standard and treatment of last resort. Acinetobacter species are unusual in that they are sensitive to sulbactam; sulbactam is most commonly used to inhibit bacterial beta-lactamase, but this is an example of the antibacterial property of sulbactam itself.
One thing that it being highly monitored at this time is Clark's vocal cords. He still has no more volume than a whisper which makes visiting a lot of work for him. In fact, he chooses not to talk much at all. They think the cords could have gotten twisted and are doing some testing on him over the next couple days. Talk of a surgery to correct it has been mentioned. There is still a slight issue with bile drainage but no plan of attack to correct at this time.

Its funny that Clark and I have each had to each overcome some fears during this long hospital stay. Clark was quite modest upon entry to the hospital but after this long, he doesn't care who sees his private areas, not even me. When nurses suggest that I leave the room for some procedures, he just tells them to send me to "my corner" instead. For me, well I am totally scared to drive in heavy traffic. I was palm wet at the wheel the first couple trips up I15 by myself. Kristin had done all the driving when we first got here but it was getting pretty hard for her to bring her two children to the hospital for the many hours we were here, so I told her I'd have to go it alone. When Jim died, I was told that the hardest thing I'd have to do is learn to do things alone or not do them at all. I refused to "not do things at all" so I have definitely learned to cope alone. I buzz up and down the interstate with no problem at all now. However I do avoid the morning rush hour which I'm not ready to tackle yet. Take me home to my country road!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Yard Sale

If you are a Utah follower, then come out to our yard sale! It's a two day sale with something for everyone. Nothing is priced, just "Donate and Take"! I have been pleasantly surprised at how generous people are. So come see us, buy something fun, and support Clark.

Friday and Saturday, Sep 18th & 19th
8:00AM to close!
816 S. 1660 W., Lehi, UT 48043.
(From round-about going west - turn south on 1700 W, then take 1st left after stop sign, we're on the corner.)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Blood Drive in Watertown, SD

I'd say this is a good one! Clark's situations has already motivated hundreds of people all across the country to donate blood. Here's another chance.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Saturday, September 19, 2009
10 AM - 3 PM

Thank You!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Making Progress Takes Time

Clark has had a couple of good days in a row! He continues to be isolated due to the bacteria in his blood that is contagious and it will be days before they retest to see if it's gone. It is a "serious bug" and resilient to antibiotics. They are going to start him on an antibiotic that is very hard on the kidneys so will give it to him every other day and are hopeful to have positive results. He does run a possibility of needing another kidney dialysis today due to the many medications that the body is trying to filter out. Clark's white blood cell count was up to 2.8 last night which normal is 5, give or take. It had been as high as 7 but then dropped to .1 when he got this bacteria in his blood. His fever has been gone for 2 days now. Clark has eaten vanilla pudding, vanilla ice cream, and last night got to have mashed potatoes. He doesn't eat much at a time but after 2 months of NO food, I'm sure his stomach shrunk. He enjoyed watching football over the weekend. His favorite team is the Atlanta Falcons. This week they will continue to advance his diet, get him up more, and hope to see the bacteria gone so possibly he will be moved to intermediate care and then can have more visitors. I'm sure he must be getting sick of "just me". He has had a few other visitors but it is usually just Clark and I for about 12 hrs a day. Its been a blessed time for me.
Some of his first bites of food after two months without it.
They sewed a mesh like material in which will dissolve. This is when they said it was sewn down to the tissue. You can see he is also sutured part way up on his left side. Look at how taunt they are. Clark is very thin so you can tell that there is still a lot of swelling. The tubes are drainage tubes for the bile that was leaking.
This is his incision now. They use a Wet-to-Dry Pack to help with healing. They stuff the incision with wet gauze and it dries throughout the day. His dressings are changed every twelve hours to keep everything clean, moist, and healthy. They have removed one tube but left two in as a precaution. From this point on, the incision will heal from the inside out.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Dandy Birthday Gift for Mother

Thank you to everyone who have wished me Happy Birthday by email, text, phone, or in person. I did have a great day! The one thing I wanted more than anything else was for Clark to be sewn up. AND HE WAS! Here is how it works. The opening is sewn from the inside first and there are several layers to sew. A few days ago they were able to sew all the tissue layer closed. That was a HUGE step forward. Then yesterday they sewed the fascia totally closed. The actual flesh we see, is still open but it will close on its own, HOPEFULLY! We think Clark is all done with surgeries, yippee! The remaining opening is stuffed with wet gauze, changed 2 times daily. This gauze keeps the flesh moist and also draws gunk away as it dries out. Its called wet to dry pack. They pack pads over the gauze and then Clark has a big Velcro strap around him that seals over the pack, keeping everything in place and tight. So all in all, it was a great birthday.

Several family members gathered at The Golden Corral for a great buffet supper to celebrate my birthday. I did however receive a call from the Dr. while there. He said the culture they had drawn for a blood bacteria had come back positive. Clark has picked up a "hospital" bacteria in his blood that is quite serious to himself and other patients. Not staff or visitors. It harbors in the openings, tubes, and IV lines when a patient has been hospitalized for a length of time. Clark did develop a fever from it too. Clark's white blood cell count dropped from a 7 to .1 in no time. Today they have come up to .38 but still are far from where we want them or where they have recently been. He is on two very harsh antibiotics which have already knocked his fever out and hopefully we will see a continued increase in the white blood cells. We are hoping the bacteria will be gone upon the next culture in a few days. Mean while, we have to take lots of precautions. Anyone entering Clark's room has to wear full gowns, masks, and gloves until this issue is corrected and he remains in isolation due to his low white blood cell count. The Dr. told me last night that Clark's transplant has been so unusual with his many complications. That if anything could go wrong, it did. Clark has been such a trooper through it all. The medical staff has gained knowledge in Clark's long suffering.Today has been a great day! They took the breathing tube out early this morning and we are praying he is done with surgeries so won't need it again. His incision looks pink and healthy. His fever is gone. He got up and walked in his room as far as the cords and tubes would allow him to go. His voice sounds stronger than I've heard in weeks. All vitals are great. He had his first bowel movement in weeks. Plus, we looked at the many pictures I've taken both here in the hospital since he was admitted and those pictures we took in SD when I went back for my father's 100th birthday party. Clark really enjoyed the pictures and had a lot of questions. Clark is looking forward to watching some football games tomorrow.

***Please Read*** For those of you with queasy tummies, I want to warn you that we ARE going to post pictures of Clark's before/after incision pictures. I think you will really understand more, once you see them. You will see what not only Clark has gone through, but also the Drs. Their stress level has to be horrendous! Be watching for the pictures in the near future but we want Clark to see them first.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Once upon a time there was a little 6 pound 9 ounce boy named Clark Kimble born to Jim and Rhonda Kimble. Little as he was then, we had no idea he would grow up to be such a giant. Oh I don't mean giant in size but giant in purpose. Clark has now been in the Surgical ICU Center at University of Utah Hospital for over 6 weeks. I am aware of 79 units of blood products that he has used so far, plus many more that I have no idea about. Yesterday I had the privilege to witness what power a group of people can be.
I drove into the parking lot where Clark goes to church and could see that the parking lot was full of cars. As I searched for a place to park myself, I went to the back of the church and stopped in the road briefly to get my grips. You see, I think I'm still in denial that this has all happened to Clark but tonight I faced a reality check. When I saw all those Red Cross Vehicles with 1-800-GIVE-LIFE on them I began to weep and gave gratitude for all the many people that have become involved in Clark's story and the gift of life Clark was being a part of.

The arrow directed to me to one of the most memorable nights. I entered the church and the event was made even more personable as I saw many pictures of my son in the superman pictures all over the entry. I was greeted by young single adult members of our church and the Red Cross Staff. Anita, from the Red Cross told me that I had no idea how much Clark's story had touched so many peoples lives, that even the staff at the Red Cross had been following the blog. She felt she knew us but had never met us before. She said she had moved some other drives around because she knew she'd need extra staff to man this blood drive for Clark, and she was right. Typically an average drive would bring in about 90 units of blood but this one brought in over 150 units. She said it was one of the best drives the Red Cross has had in over 15 years. At the end of the night, they had to lock their doors and turn people away. Now that is the power of people. Clark lays in the same hospital room, day after day in an isolated room with limited visitors, usually me, and really has no idea the magnitude his life has had on so many people who have no idea who he is. Many people were there for their first time to donate blood, and I'll bet they will be repeat donors from now on. Several passed out and still left smiling because they gave. Some were disappointed that they couldn't for various reasons. I know that many people started donating blood from the very beginning of Clark's journey in getting a liver transplant. I also give you thanks. I know various groups, places of business, and individuals have all come forward for the same purpose. You ALL have saved lives. Clark himself needed the blood products of over half of the people who donated last night. I have spent many hours in the surgical waiting room here at the U and have over heard loved ones talking about blood transfusions. I'm aware of the many other hospitals that are also in need. We are pleased that we were a big part of the supply that saves lives. Again, thanks to everyone. You are the people who have made Clark a giant.

Clark's sister Kristin, who is nursing a 4 month old baby donated!

Bishop Sampson was comforted by "Monkey George" and he donated! Bishop was sure that he would pass out but he man'd up through it all. He did later tell me that he got a little dizzy and had to sit down but luckily it passed without him going down.

My brother, Bruce Larson and his wife Illa gave!

And then there was Caleb. This was his first time to donate. He was SO nervous and caught a lot of attention from those who were offering encouragement. The time came for him to take his turn. Monkey George was again at hand to offer comfort.

Caleb was called to give and he was determined to do so. I could literally feel Caleb's relief when the crowd of on lookers assured him the needle had be entered, and the worst was over. Thanks for conquering your fear Caleb and good luck in your future visits to the Red Cross.

Some donors had passed out yet were smiling when they left.